Monday, December 26, 2016

Irving Fisher & Distributed Lags

Some time back, Mike Belongia (U. Mississippi) emailed me as follows: 
"I enjoyed your post on Shirley Almon;  her name was very familiar to those of us of a certain age.
With regard to your planned follow-up post, I thought you might enjoy the attached piece by Irving Fisher who, in 1925, was attempting to associate variations in the price level with the volume of trade.  At the bottom of p. 183, he claims that "So far as I know this is the first attempt to distribute a statistical lag" and then goes on to explain his approach to the question.  Among other things, I'm still struck by the fact that Fisher's "computer" consisted of his intellect and a pencil and paper."
The 1925 paper by Fisher that Mike is referring to can be found here. Here are pages 183 and 184:

Thanks for sharing this interesting bit of econometrics history, Mike. And I haven't forgotten that I promised to prepare a follow-up post on the Almon estimator!

© 2016, David E. Giles

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